Pilgrimage Oddington to Christchurch Cathedral

Overall distance approximately 11 miles. Time guide 4 hours. Easy walking but off-road sections liable to be muddy in wet seasons.  Download this route here.

Start from the Church of St. Andrew, Oddington. Pray in the tranquillity of this 13th century church and take time to look at its outstanding features. As a member of the Small Pilgrimage Places network all pilgrims are welcome here but we have a special place in our hearts for our Maori friends who come from all over the world to visit the grave of their Princess, Maggie Papakura.

On leaving the churchyard turn left and having gone round a sharp bend take the footpath off to the left towards Noke. When you reach Logg Farm bear right and the footpath takes you a bridge crossing both the New Ray and the Old Ray. Turn right along the riverbank and at the end of the field turn left. This will take you to the outskirts of Noke, with the splendid Manor Farmhouse ahead. Turn left on the footpath and after about 300 yards go right to the Church of St. Giles.

Although of fairly simple design the church is a very special place – well preserved and peaceful. This is an opportunity for reflection on the journey.

On leaving the church go left through the village, passing splendid old houses and the village pond.

At the end of the village take the footpath off to the right to Woodeaton, through Prattle Wood. On reaching the B4027 Islip to Wheatley road go straight across. Take great care as there is fast moving traffic.

The route is now on the road into Woodeaton. Keep in single file and be prepared to get on to the verge. The small village is largely on your left, with the splendid Manor House on the right.

The Church of the Holy Rood is a magnificent Grade 1 11th century building, virtually unaltered since it was built. In these surroundings you can envisage pilgrimages undertaken in medieval times.

On leaving the church take the footpath immediately opposite, a wide green lane. At the end of the first stretch turn right and then left, on the right hand side of a hedge row. At the end of this field turn left and then immediately right over a footbridge. Go straight across the next field towards Watereaton Manor. The footpath goes across a bridge over the River Cherwell and after about 200 yards goes off to the left – not signed but an obvious path. Soon after it links with a more substantial path off to the left. Continue on this path across fields until it emerges into Cutteslowe Park.

Go straight across the football pitches, aiming for about 100 yards to the right of the pavilion. Go up steps and continue straight ahead, with the model railway on your left. (Off to your right are public toilets.) Follow the fence alongside the railway round to the left and go straight on to the café, where you can obtain food and drink. Just beyond the café are more toilets.

Continue straight ahead, leading to the footbridge over the A40 Northern Bypass. After Cutteslowe Primary School pick up Cycle Route 1, which is well signed. You will be on footpaths, going along Watereaton Road and Kings Cross Road. Go straight across Lonsdale Road, continuing on Cycle Path 1 to Cherwell School on your left. Emerge on to Marston Ferry Link Road and go through underpass on your left. At the other side turn left and after a short distance you take the footpath to your right, alongside Cherwell School South site.

Bear right to pick up Cycle Path 1 along Charlbury Road. In Fyfield Road look out for Lady Margaret Hall on your left and at this point go down an alleyway leading into University Parks. Bear right and follow path that will lead you out onto Parks Road.

Continue straight on along Parks Road, with Wadham Collage on your left. On reaching the junction with Broad Street go straight over in Cat Street, with the Bridge of Sighs on your left. On reaching the High Street go straight across and take a narrow street which will lead out on to Merton Street. Turn right and soon after look out for the iron gate into Christchurch Meadows. Go straight ahead and then turn right to the public entrance to Christchurch Cathedral.

Return to Oddington on weekdays on Charlton-on-Otmoor Services from outside Ashmoleum at 4.10pm, 5.10pm and 6.10pm. On all days there is an infrequent train service from Oxford to Islip.